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New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner asserted last night that the Supreme Court's recent reapportionment decision would help the cities in their fight to secure relief for urban problems. The Mayor dwelled on his own trouble as a Democratic mayor pitted against a "Republican state legislature dominated by rural districts and interests."
Up-state Republicans, Wagner chargod, "have no conception of the City's problems," know little of urban difficulties, and are opposed to relief of these problems. Because state governments have neglected urban problems, both Republican and Democratic mayors of large cities have turned to the federal government for assistance in handling their affairs, the Mayor claimed.
Wagner said that the Supreme Court's ruling (which gives the federal courts power to determine whether the apportionment of seats in state legislatures violates the Constitution) will be a great weapon in eliminating the "disproportion in representation between cities and rural areas."
The Mayor lashed out at Governor Nelson Rockefeller and other "liberal Republicans who supposedly act in the City's interest. Rockefeller wants to be a liberal in New York City and a conservative upstate," said the Mayor. But because of pressure put on him by Republican leaders from rural areas, the governor "will never really represent the City," he concluded.
"Rockefeller is Weak"
Wagner declared that Gov. Rockefeller "is weak in many respects" and can be beaten in the coming gubernatorial election. The contest, he feels, will be won or lost in New York City. The Democratic nominee will be selected after all candidates have had an opportunity to campaign throughout the state, he added.
Bronx County Democratic leader Charles Buckley was another of the Mayor's targets. Wagner said he hopes to have Buckley removed from both the County leadership and from his seat in the House of Representatives but declared that Buckley's "evil influence is greater as county leader."
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